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:: I Am Love

The glorious setting and sophistication of Italian movie I Am Love is hard to ignore. From its patient direction, its attentive cinematography, to its majestic music, the sensuous story and the masterful performance of Tilda Swinton, this film reminds us that great, classy cinema could still exist in the midst of today’s addiction to commercialised sequels.

“I Am Love” tells the story of the wealthy Recchi family, whose lives are undergoing sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr., the family patriarch, has decided to name a successor to the reigns of his massive industrial company, surprising everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi, and grandson Edo. However, Edo has long dreamt of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio, a handsome and talented chef.

At the heart of the family is Tancredi’s wife Emma (Tilda Swinton), a Russian immigrant who has adopted the culture of Milan. An adoring and attentive mother, her existence is shocked to the core when she falls quickly and deeply in love with Edo’s friend and partner Antonio, and embarks on a passionate love affair that will change her family forever.

The camera pays attention to details and it somehow elevates our desire to live such a life. The elegance of the Recchi family as they dine, the proper manners, the costumes, the art and set decor; this is modern day Italian wealth, which plays a big part in the story of Emma. To me, I Am Love is about Emma dying to breath again. She’s lived decades in such an intellectual environment that she’s forgotten what actual passionate love felt like until her daughter experiences the freedom she’s always wanted. Emma is a monotonous life desperately trying to break out and so when the opportunity comes along, she engages in a rejuvenating affair.

It’s just one of those riveting epic art films that moves seamlessly with style and precision. It’s steamy, daring, and enthralling. Swinton solidifies herself even more as a top line actress. Emma is trapped between responsibility and rebellion. Her relationship with her son is complicated by a secret that unintentionally leads to a deathly consequence.

Highly recommended.

DVD Extras

Theatrical trailer
Audio commentary with producer/star Tilda Swinton and producer/director Luca Guadagnino
Behind the Scenes of I Am Love
Interviews with cast and director